House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Kyiv as Ukraine continued to weather bombardment by Russia on its southern coast and eastern parts of the country.
Pelosi, who is second in line to succeed the president, was the latest show of support for the United States for Ukraine. She is the most senior American lawmaker to visit the country since Russia launched the war.
Pelosi’s met with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, whose office released footage early Sunday showing the speaker alongside fellow members of Congress in Kyiv.
The visit came as some women and children were evacuated from a steel plant in Mariupol and as a Russian rocket attack destroyed an airport runway in Odesa, a Black Sea port on Ukraine’s southern border.
Pelosi posted a video to her Twitter account early Sunday that showed her standing shoulder to shoulder with Zelenskyy, members of Congress and other Ukrainian officials.
“We are here to say to you that we are with you until the fight is over,” Pelosi said in the video.
Zelenskyy thanked Pelosi for the support, saying “we’ll win together.”
Pelosi responded: “We are here until victory is won.”
Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency said Saturday that 19 adults and six children were brought out from the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol, but gave no further details.
A top official with the Azov Regiment, the Ukrainian unit defending the plant, said 20 civilians were evacuated during a cease-fire, though it was not clear if he was referring to the same group. There was no confirmation from the U.N.
“These are women and children,” Sviatoslav Palamar said in a video posted on the regiment’s Telegram channel. He also called for the evacuation of the wounded: “We don’t know why they are not taken away and their evacuation to the territory controlled by Ukraine is not being discussed.”
Pelosi visits Kyiv with Congressional delegation
KYIV, Ukraine — U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has met with Ukraine’s president during a visit to the country’s embattled capital, Kyiv.
Pelosi, third in line to the presidency, is the highest-ranking American leader to visit Ukraine since the start of the war, and her visit marks a major show of continuing support for the country’s struggle against Russia.
Footage released early Sunday by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office showed Pelosi in Kyiv with a Congressional delegation including representatives Jason Crow, Jim McGovern and Adam Schiff.
“You all are welcome,” Zelenskyy told the delegation.
Pelosi told Zelenskyy: “We believe that we are visiting you to say thank you for your fight for freedom.”
“We are on a frontier of freedom and your fight is a fight for everyone. Our commitment is to be there for you until the fight is done,” Pelosi added.
The visit was not previously announced.
– Associated Press
Contributing: The Associated Press